The Bible Versus Tradition—Part 1

Man Created by God

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
—Genesis 1:27

THE HARMONIOUS TESTIMONY of the Bible emphasizes that man is a direct creation of God, and not a creature of evolution. Moreover, as stated in our opening verse, man was created in the image of God. This means that he was perfect in all ways, and also capable of exercising those qualities of kindness, sympathy, and love which by right we attribute to God, and which the Scriptures assure us actually belong to him.

A tradition is a concept or idea which is passed down from generation to generation, but does not require substantiation as truth by any reliable authority. It is believed, simply because of its acceptance as a tradition, by significant numbers of people over a lengthy period of time. From the days of Charles Darwin has come the theory that man is not the direct creation of God, but that man has evolved through millions of years from some yet unknown source, through the lower forms of life, finally attaining his present state. Over the past 150 years, Darwin’s evolution theory has gradually become one of the modern traditions. It is claimed by many to be true, and is widely accepted and taught as fact, although all efforts to produce proof have failed.

As is often the case with the traditions of men, it is supposed by many that the theory of human evolution is quite in harmony with the Word of God, and that both can be believed without doing violence to the Bible. However, this is not so. If the theory of human evolution is true, then the Bible is false and its story of creation a colossal hoax. On the other hand, if the Bible’s account of creation is true, then the teaching of evolution is merely a theory, a system of philosophy. The two beliefs cannot coexist without weakening our faith in the Bible as the revelation of God’s purpose in the creation of man.


As our text declares, God created man in his own image. Either by profession or by implication, much of the civilized world believes this. It is this great truth concerning man that buttresses the claims of the so-called “free world” that man should not be considered a mere robot in some sort of totalitarian system, but should have freedom of expression and opportunity to make a place for himself in a world society.

If man is a mere product of evolution, what basis is there for individual dignity and purpose in his life? If man exists by virtue of evolution, then there is no authoritative moral law he is actually obligated to obey. The Bible, which tells us that God created man, sets forth the code of ethics the Creator imposed upon his human creatures. If the God of the Bible is a myth, then the moral laws set forth in its pages are unsubstantiated by divine authority, and the “evolved” man may flout them without disobeying any higher power.

We doubt if many of the most ardent proponents of the theory of evolution would like to carry it this far. Yet, to be consistent, if the authenticity of the Bible’s account of creation is thus discounted, the Word of God becomes robbed of any valid authority. Moses is credited with the authorship of the first five books of the Bible. (Exod. 17:14; Num. 33:2; Deut. 31:9; John 5:46,47) It is in these five books that we are informed concerning the divine creation of man, and the moral law of the Bible is set forth. If Moses wrote in ignorance concerning creation, there could be no basis for confidence that the Ten Commandments came from God, as Moses asserts.


The Bible’s account of the creation of man is straightforward and logical. We read that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7) We know today that this is scientifically correct. Man’s organism, or physical body, is composed of elements found in the earth.

When man was sentenced to death for disobeying divine law he was told that he would return to the earth: “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3:19) We know that this is also true. A dead body does return to “dust,” to the elements of the earth, in a relatively short time unless it is embalmed or preserved in some fashion.

We know also that the air we breathe is the “breath of life.” Deprive the lungs of air and in mere minutes the body becomes lifeless, and dies. In Leviticus 17:11, we read that “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” This also is scientifically correct. It is common knowledge that from the lungs the life-giving oxygen of the air is carried by the blood to every part of the body. How wonderful that Moses so stated this thousands of years ago!

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul wrote, “The first man Adam was made a living soul,” to which he added, “The first man is of the earth, earthy.” (I Cor. 15:45,47; Gen. 2:7) Here we find the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest logicians of all time, virtually quoting from the Genesis record of creation, and agreeing with it. If the theory of human evolution is true, then the “first man Adam” is a myth, and Paul was laboring under a delusion which blinded him to the real facts concerning the origin of man.

In addition, if Paul was wrong with respect to the “first man Adam,” then his entire analogy of salvation from sin and death through Christ, whom he speaks of as the “second” or “last” Adam, is false. If the apostle’s reasoning on the subject of salvation through Christ was based upon such a false premise, then the Christian religion has no foundation in fact, and the main theme of the Bible, the textbook of Christianity, is untrue.

Luke, a physician, and writer of the Gospel of Luke, traces the genealogy of Jesus all the way back through the Old Testament records to the first man, Adam, whom he affirms to be a “son of God”—in other words, a direct creation of God. (Luke 3:38) If the theory of human evolution is true, then Luke was wrong, for he should have said that Adam was the son of some sort of evolutionary link slightly lower than the “homo sapiens” species.

Luke had confidence, however, in the Genesis account of creation, and in the Old Testament records as a whole. He knew that Adam, a created earthly son of God, had been sentenced to death because of sin, and that if Adam and his race were ever to enjoy eternal life they would have to be saved from sin and from death. Believing this, Luke was glad to record the song of the angel on the night Jesus was born: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”—Luke 2:10,11


If the theory of evolution is true, then man needs no Savior, for he is not a fallen creature, but one evolving upward. This would mean that Jesus did not come to earth to save mankind from sin and death, again implying that the Christian religion is false. Many scholars of our day, even those who claim to believe the theory of evolution, also espouse confidence in Jesus and his teachings. Yet, if human evolution is true, and man, rather than falling, is progressing upward, it would prove that even Jesus must be considered a very unreliable teacher, for he made it clear that he had come into the world to save fallen man from sin and death.—Matt. 1:21; John 1:29; 3:13,14; Mark 8:31; I Tim. 1:15

The Christian philosophy is that salvation from sin, and from its result, death, is provided through the redemptive work of Jesus. Paul wrote, “Since it was through a man that death resulted, it was also through a man that the resurrection of the dead resulted. For just as all men die by virtue of their descent from Adam, so all such as are in union with Christ will be made to live again.” (I Cor. 15:21,22, Williams New Testament) This teaching of the Bible is that the opportunity for man’s resurrection and restoration to life is provided by Jesus through his sacrificial death. In corroboration of this, the apostle further wrote of Jesus as having given himself in death as a “ransom for all.”—I Tim. 2:3-6

In still another place, Paul stated, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23) Paul did not invent these concepts. Their source was Jesus, the greatest teacher of all time. Jesus believed the writings of Moses, and, using the great miracle of the manna falling from heaven as an illustration, he said, “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”—John 6:32,33

Jesus understood that he could be the “bread” of life for the fallen and dying race only if he gave his humanity in death. Hence, he explained, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (vs. 51) It was on Calvary’s cross that Jesus gave his flesh in death, thus providing redemption from death for Adam and his race.

This was in fulfillment of various Old Testament prophecies which foretold the coming of the Messiah and Redeemer. “All we like sheep have gone astray,” wrote the Prophet Isaiah. “We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:6) If man is a creature of evolution, then Isaiah was entirely wrong in saying that we have all turned to our own way, meaning that our ways are sinful and leading downward.

According to the theory of evolution, we have always been in the same way—the way of evolution—and we are climbing ever higher all the time. In this theory there is no need for a Redeemer from sin. “Sin is the transgression of the law,” wrote the Apostle John. However, if man is a creature of evolution, springing by chance from an unknown source, then there is no Creator whose laws he should obey, and hence no sin as a violation of such divine laws.—I John 3:4

The simple truth set forth in the Bible is that man is the direct creation of God. He was created perfect and with the potential of eternal life, provided he remained obedient to the laws of his Creator. Man disobeyed divine law, and now the penalty of death is resting upon God’s human creation. However, redemption from death has been provided through Jesus. This guarantees that at a time designed by the Creator humanity will be awakened from death and given an opportunity, under Christ’s righteous kingdom arrangement, to obey God’s laws and live forever.—Isa. 11:1-10; 26:9; Rev. 21:1-5


All that we know of the experiences of the human race is in harmony with these simple truths set forth in the Bible. If the theory of human evolution were true, then we should expect that today man’s intelligence would be far superior to what it was at the dawn of history, but this is not so. The great pyramid in Egypt, the ancient temples and edifices, the marvelous paintings and sculptures of the past, and the music masteries of former times, all substantiate the fact that the fundamental intelligence enjoyed by the ancients was equal to the most brilliant minds of the present.

If man is a creature of evolution, then why do we not see this process going on yet today? At the edges of rivers, lakes, and seas, why do we not see creatures that are half fish and half bird? Why do we not see the many links between all the various species of sea life, fowls of the air, and land animals, which we are told once existed in the evolutionary climb? Why did the fish, the birds, and the land animals suddenly decide to remain as they were and cease evolving? What happened to all the claimed links between the species that exist today? None of these supposed links have been found. Apes have survived as apes. If evolution be true, a link, supposedly more developed than the ape, but less developed than humans, should have survived as well.

We know that certain species of animals which existed in prehistoric times have become extinct. There are also certain birds and animals today whose continued existence as a species is threatened, but this does not prove the theory of evolution. It proves only that changing conditions and circumstances make it impossible for certain species to continue their existence. When, for example, the existence of the American bison was threatened during the nineteenth century, it did not mean that the bison was about to evolve into another species of animal.


One of the basic truths emphasized in the Genesis account of creation is the fixity of species. Concerning this we read: “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: … And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (Gen. 1:21,25) In these verses, the Hebrew word translated “kind” means “species.” Thus, the animals were created with the ability to bring forth generation after generation of offspring, but only within their own species. Attempts by man to mix species have merely produced hybrids which have no ability to reproduce.

The Apostle Paul agrees with the statement of Genesis. He wrote, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (I Cor. 15:39) Nature corroborates the foregoing Biblical declarations. Observation confirms that nature is unalterably opposed to the commingling of species, or to the formation of new species. Nature allows seemingly endless varieties within each species but has established fixed limitations which prevent these variations from forming new species with the ability to reproduce.

Darwin himself, in his Origin of Species, made this frank admission: “In spite of all the efforts of trained observers, not one change of species into another is on record.” It is truly remarkable that the Bible, written thousands of years ago, before the era of modern research, should state so accurately and definitely what now has been established as scientific truth. Species are fixed, and only by divine revelation could the writers of the Bible have known this fact, and been able to state it so plainly.


If man is a creature of haphazard evolution, then we should have evidence of the beginnings of human life in various parts of the earth. It seems incredible that out of all the myriads of the lower forms of animal life, only one pair of humans would be produced. Yet, the population spread from the dawn of history until now indicates clearly that the human race as we know it did originate with one pair, and in one place.

It is generally believed among scholars today that the evidence points to the region of Mesopotamia—present day Iraq—as the area of the earliest human civilization. It is here that the Bible locates the Garden of Eden, and where recorded human history begins. The chronology of the Bible places the creation of Adam at a little over six thousand years ago. Using the Scriptural account, beginning with one pair at that time, the increase of population throughout the approximately sixty-one centuries since creation is easily reconciled with the present estimated population of earth—7.7 billion people.

It would be markedly difficult, in view of the natural increase of population, to reconcile the population of the earth today with the belief that man in his current evolved state has been on the earth for about 200,000 years, as generally claimed by evolutionists. We must also consider that, according to present views on evolution, in all probability humans would have appeared on the scene in many parts of the earth at about the same time. This belief would discount the thought that the human race originated with one pair in Mesopotamia, as taught in the Bible and hypothesized by the scientists.


Of all the weaknesses in the theory of evolution, however, its greatest inadequacy is that it provides no satisfactory explanation of the origin of life. With no intelligent first cause credited for life’s origin, many have concluded that it could only have come into existence by mere chance. It is said that in the eons of the dim past certain combinations of elements and events came together and somehow produced protoplasmic life, which then began to evolve. We ask, though: What caused the elements to exist in the first place? How did their coming together produce life? What directed the evolution “process” to begin?

While scientists theorize as to how this may have occurred, they are unable to reproduce it now, notwithstanding all of the accumulated knowledge of the twenty-first century. Does it not seem unscientific to claim that such things could occur by chance millions of years ago, and yet at the same time confess that with all the available scientific knowledge of today, it cannot now be duplicated?

Without a satisfactory understanding and explanation of how it started, the theory of evolution rests on a very shaky foundation. It is certainly not scientific to claim that a complicated process of evolution has taken place randomly over millions of years, and yet not have a reasonable basis or demonstrative evidence for its beginning. Perhaps most sadly, evolution provides little, if any, future hope for man. It leaves him in the grave, despite the longing desire in the human soul for life and its perpetuation.


As firm believers in the Genesis account of creation, we acknowledge that we have to accept by faith its explanation of the origin of life. However, faith has a sure foundation when we accept the evidence of reason that order and design found in all living things argues that there must be an intelligent, all-powerful Creator. We cannot fully grasp, with the limitations of the finite human mind, the eternal existence of the Creator, “from everlasting to everlasting.” (Ps. 90:2) Yet, with all the evidences in the universe and in the natural world around us, we gladly accept, by faith, his eternal existence and infinite power.

It would be very unscientific to say, for example, that higher mathematics does not exist simply because the vast majority of people cannot understand it. It would be equally unscientific to say that the whole universe came into being by sheer chance simply because we cannot adequately define the Creator. The Bible declares, indeed, that it is a fool who says in his heart, “There is no God.”—Ps. 14:1; 53:1

Accepting the fact that there is a Creator who brought the whole universe into existence and who is also the fountain or source of all life, it should not be difficult for our faith to lay hold upon his promises pertaining to the future. We know that whatever the Creator has promised to do he is abundantly able to accomplish. The future of all of us depends, not upon man’s limited abilities, but upon God’s limitless wisdom, justice, love and power.

Viewing the Bible as God’s Word, given to us to point out his character and plan, we are assured in its pages that the great Creator, who gave us life in the first place, is also able to restore it, and purposes to do so. The Bible describes this as being accomplished by the resurrection of the dead. From the “dust of the ground” God will again use his creative powers to produce, not just one human body, but billions, and in them reproduce every thought impulse and every trait of character possessed by those who have died.—I Cor. 15:21,22,35,38

This will mean that the memory will be restored, enabling each individual to recall the past and to benefit from the lessons learned. How many times we hear people say that if they had their lives to live over again, or could change decisions made, how differently they would do. This is precisely the opportunity the Creator has planned to give every descendant of Adam.

Then the experiences of this life will be of inestimable value to them. If they profit from the lessons learned, accept the provision of life through Christ, and obey the laws of the kingdom then in force, they will live forever. Thus the design of the Creator with respect to his human creation will have been accomplished, and there will be “no more death.”—Rev. 21:4; Isa. 25:8; Hos. 13:14; I Cor. 15:26